Most of those countries I would describe as some of the best recent examples of authoritarian communism (a little less so Cuba). China certainly doesn't represent the free communism that Karl Marx envisioned (much less the idea that it would be worldwide, and empower the individual).
3Q. Are there any countries left in the world that are still socialist? And are there any examples of successful socialist societies, either now or in the past? Are any European countries fully socialist?
A society that considers bodies of sick people piling up in the streets "not a problem" or "not my problem" cannot rightfully be called a society.
5Q. Is the Democratic Party socialist? If not, is anyone in the Democratic Party a socialist? Who are the most socialist-leaning people in American public office today?
6Q. What is the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and why do some people think it is socialist?
7Q. What is the difference between a Democrat, a socialist, and a “democratic socialist”? Has America ever had a socialist leader? Were F.D.R., or Teddy Roosevelt, or any other presidents, socialist, or inspired by socialism?
8Q. Is Venezuela currently socialist? Did they achieve socialism under Chavez? Was the current crisis in Venezuela caused by socialism, or by something else?
State spending directed towards attempts to fight poverty, which could be described as "socialist", is not the only economic system that's to blame for Venezuela's problems. The profit motive of international capitalist sellers of food, toilet paper, and other necessities, is also partially to blame.
Some who analyze the situation in Venezuela believe that the country's middle and upper classes' demand for a wider variety of products in stores, has been used to portray the food shortages as worse than they actually are (not that they aren't extremely problematic), and that ensuring a wide variety of foods is not as important as delivering large amounts of staples in order to keep people sufficiently well fed. Big business and media in the country, naturally, benefit from broadcasting demands for their own products, so that explanation seems to hold up to scrutiny, especially considering how problematic intellectual property can be in facilitating free, open, and low-cost international trade.
Additionally, many Latin American countries, Honduras included, have been plagued with drugs, and the C.I.A. has not only undermined regimes all over Latin America, it has traded drugs for weapons in the course of arming all kinds of rebel groups in order to achieve those ends. Also, the U.S. imposed sanctions on Venezuela in 2014 and 2018, after U.S.-Venezuelan relations soured (following Chavez's apparent embrace of Fidel Castro and Saddam Hussein over George W. Bush, and Venezuela's failure to cooperate enough to fight terrorism in the eyes of the United States).
American "economic imperialism", with the goal of slowing the development of the "resource-cursed" Venezuela (with its huge reserves of oil in the North, the price of which collapsed 70% in 2014, the year after Chavez died) - and a sense of legal entitlement to future profits from sales of consumer goods and everyday needs - are much more responsible for Venezuela's current problems than "socialism" (which, again, means worker control, ownership, or management of the means of production; workplaces, factories, large machines, farms, and maybe other things). There will not be full socialism in Venezuela until no workplace or energy company is owned by a private owner.
If Venezuela pursues more disciplined, motivated worker control over energy utilities, becomes successful at ensuring fair health and safety standards at oil extraction facilities, and expands oil refining in its own country, then it will be on the road to energy independence - and with it, economic and political independence - and it will also prove to the world that a socialist economy can be responsible, clean, and self-sufficient. Unfortunately, that will only piss America off (until it finds itself reasonable leadership who don't want to subjugate Venezuela's interests to their own).
It could be argued that Venezuela's unrestrained social welfare spending in the face of massive temporary profits reflects a socialist desire to spend more in the short-term and overlook long-term problems. But it can also be argued that capitalism is more concerned about short-term gains than socialism, because capitalism has the reputation of prioritizing short-term profits over human lives. To any person with a conscience, the needs of Venezuela to move its most vulnerable citizens out of dire poverty and into acceptable housing, ought to outweigh the needs of Western commodities traders to acquire secondary homes for themselves.
9Q. What is the difference between libertarian socialism and authoritarian socialism, and what are some examples of how their economic systems differ from each other? Is Venezuela libertarian-socialist or authoritarian-socialist? Would you describe Hugo Chavez or Nicolas Maduro as autocrats or dictators, or as men of the people?
Maduro has also made attempts to replace the national legislature, and fill the supreme court with people who support him. But in Maduro's defense, he did that in response to the United Socialist Party's December 2015 electoral loss to an opposition made up of many of the same elements as the coup that ousted his predecessor Chavez in 2002 (with the help of the C.I.A.). Carmona, the president installed for two days during that coup, made the same moves that Maduro made some 14 years later: replace the national legislature with a new one, and pack the supreme court.
Most libertarian socialists want to avoid expropriation, and are instead focused on achieving both freedom and equality through action that evades the state and tries to make it unnecessary. Authoritarian socialists, on the other hand, believe that freedom is often a threat to equality, and that, therefore, order is necessary to ensure equality. I would recommend that direct food aid continue in Venezuelan society, with or without the government's assistance.
11Q. Some people believe that socialism, and free markets or capitalism on the other hand, are incompatible. Do you agree, and why or why not?
13Q. Why did you decide to call your second collection of essays “Soft Communism for 90's Kids”?
14Q. What are the names of some of the articles you've written about socialism and labor law?
Edited and Expanded on December 10th, 11th, and 13th, 2018